Imagine you’re one of our law enforcement partners, and you’ve just pulled up and witnessed the final moments of a hit and run accident. It happened so fast, you didn’t have time to write down the license plate, or even get a good look at the driver. You look at the scene of the crime and notice a few pieces of the vehicle scattered all over the street. You have no identifiers for this vehicle, except you know it was a red Ford.
Amazingly… NICB can help! You call our Investigative Assistance (IA) Group directly or work with one of our Field Agents. The IA Group traces these parts back to their original Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Many times, the Investigative Assistant can match component parts in our system, but if they are not successful, they call upon the Manufacturer’s Information Group (MIG) for help! You will soon realize that even though the MIG group isn’t made up of your typical crime fighters, they are a critical part in our fight against vehicle fraud and crime.
After the IA completes an extensive search in our database, a Manufacturer’s Liaison will then reach out to their contact at the manufacturer and request a VIN match to the component part numbers found at the scene. Once the search has been returned from the manufacturer, the Manufacturer Liaison notifies the IA, who in turn, notifies you, our law enforcement partner, or the case Agent. You are provided the full VIN for further investigation. The solution to this puzzle comes to play when you realize that the MIG Group has helped you positively identify this vehicle. Armed with this intelligence, you are able to tie this VIN to a fatal hit and run accident that occurred earlier in the day. You also match this VIN to an active theft from a neighboring state. Your ability to alert local authorities, in multiple jurisdictions, results in the recovery of this stolen vehicle and the arrest of the alleged criminal. Our member company is also pleased, as you’ve helped recover their insured’s vehicle and identified the person allegedly responsible for these crimes.
This was all possible by the great work done by the MIG Department. So you ask, “Who are these masked employees?” They’re five amazing team members, all working closely together with their participating manufacturing contacts. Specifically, they download, research, analyze, and process manufacturers’ shipping and assembly records. They then process and data enter VIN decoding into our VIN Editing Database (VED) files, where the Lone Ranger of shipping requests provides the final piece! This team works together like a well oiled machine, each gear dependent on the other, to make the full VIN journey.
They’re always searching for new ways to provide data assistance. For example, they recently unveiled their newest achievement, NICB’s Boat Database! Our MIG Technical Analyst initiated this one of a kind Boat database, in partnership with the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA). Similar to the information captured from our vehicle manufacturers, this boat database provides a single resource for identifying marine vessels.
Many are not aware that the MIG Department also creates and produces our various NICB manuals. All of the data gathered from the group’s multiple manufacturing contacts are compiled and published in NICB’s passenger, heavy equipment and commercial manuals. In fact recently, the MIG Support Analyst has been working hard to transition these hard copy manuals, into the 21st Century. Electronic versions of the manuals will allow the content to be more accessible and convenient to users with current technology devices.
So, keep a look out…coming soon, to a smart phone or tablet device near you, might just be a downloadable E-Book version of one of our most popular manuals! Kudos to the MIG group and a big thank you, for all of the behind the scenes work they do!